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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cruising Through the Holidays

The holidays may, in some ways, feel like a strange time to be cruising. But those who do take a cruise get the treat of seeing the ships and ports in a way they wouldn’t at any other time of the year.
The ships take on a special glow, decked with new finery. Our Emerald Princess last week was covered bow to stern with garlands and ornament-laden trees. And then one day, the trees came to life with small bright-white lights. I did a double take when live poinsettias suddenly appeared out of nowhere in every nook and cranny, as if Santa had come down the smokestack just to bring us some pre-holiday fun.
Christmas in Bonaire
One of my strongest memories of the ports around the holidays was from our first visit to Saint Maarten. It was the quintessential Caribbean day: sunny with soothing warmth and skies the color of the sea. From the pier to the town, the tender was playing Christmas music, reggae-style. 

Each port has its own take on the holiday. It’s neat to see how they use the tropical foliage as a canvas to express their holiday spirit.
Speaking of spirits, I thought I’d end by sharing a few recipes for Caribbean Christmas goodies, which were posted last week outside the public library in Roseau, Dominica (tip: there’s free wi-fi and it’s only a few blocks from the pier). Here's a
link to one for Caribbean Christmas cake. And below is one for the local version of eggnog:

Chaudo or Chodo 
1 tablespoon brandy or rum
2 eggs
1 pint milk
4 tablespoons white sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Peel of 1 green lime
Beat eggs together with sugar and lime peel. In a saucepan, bring milk to the boil and pour over egg mixture, adding all other ingredients. Whisk until frothy. Serve hot or warm.